Gary Lineker claims he received racist abuse because of his 'darker skin'

The former England football star claims he received abuse despite being 'as English as they come'

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Gary Lineker has claimed he received racial abuse during his playing career because of his "darker skin".

The former England star regularly voices his opinions on issues such as politics, immigration and racism.

And the Match of the Day host, 61, described how he was subjected to racial abuse while playing football, as well as at school.

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker

He said on the High Performance podcast: "Without being good at sport, life would have been very different for me because I was, I think I would have been bullied at school.

"I was kind of marginally that way anyway because I was this tiny, geeky kid, with darkish skin and I had pretty much racist abuse although I’m not, I’m as English as they come. All the time, all the time.

"Even in professional football I had that a couple of times, I wouldn’t ever name any names.

Gary Lineker during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on day four of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Gary Lineker during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in front of Buckingham Palace, London, on day four of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations

"So I got that kind of nonsense, which was a bit weird.

"Whether that was part of something that made me, I don’t know, but other people might not be able to handle that.”

The presenter recently shared his joy about being selected to be part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Lineker joined other celebs including Pudsey Bear for the Jubilee Pageant.

He wrote: "Whether that was part of something that made me, I don’t know, but other people might not be able to handle that.”